To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurse clinical grading appeals remain outstanding; what is the average time that has elapsed since they were lodged; how long she expects it will take to clear the backlog; what steps she is taking to expedite hearings; and if she will make a statement.
The Department does not collect information on appeals at employing authority level. The director of personnel of the NHS management executive wrote to regional general managers on 31 March stressing the importance of ensuring that any remaining backlog of cases at local level should be cleared as soon as possible,At 31 May 1992 there were 20,412 appeals outstanding at regional level (including those in Scotland and Wales) and 1,890 at national level. The Nursing and Midwifery Staffs Negotiating Council has recently reached agreement on streamlining the appeals process by setting up experimental standing appeals panels at national level—these have now started work—and by providing a facility for referring appeals direct from employing authority to national level if both parties agree. These changes should enable outstanding appeals to be dealt with more expeditiously, although it is too early to estimate how long it will take to complete the exercise.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many clinical grading appeals have been submitted by nurses in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland since the start of the current process.
The Department does not collect information on appeals at employing authority level. In England at 31 May, 20,775 appeals had been submitted at regional level and 1,430 at national level. Information relating to Scotland and Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.